Thursday, 3 September 2015

Fayose pardons 31 civil servants, holds discussion with workers on bail out funds

Reprieve came the way of 31 Civil Servants caught coming late to work on Monday, as Governor Ayo Fayose, Wednesday, asked them to return to work.

This was just as Governor Fayose held a meeting with workers in the state to discuss whether the state should take the bail out funds being planned for states by the Federal Government.

Speaking at the meeting in Ado-Ekiti on Wednesday, the governor who expressed concern about the bail out funds, said it would aggravate the debt profile of the state.

Fayose said, ” even with the 9 per cent interest on the fund, rolling it over with the debts and commitments the state already had would be too burdensome.

“They say they are restructuring N18.8 billion of our commercial loans and with the 9 per cent interest, by the time the money is repaid in 20 years, we would have paid an extra N36 billion as interest. That means the N18 billion would have become N56 billion.

“I am addressing you on the issue so that before I commit the state to taking the loan, I have to get your permission. The main consequence of the bail out is that it is from same monthly allocation from the federal that we will accommodate servicing the N25bn bond we inherited from the previous administration, that bail out itself and commercial loans.

“When allocation comes and they are deducting from source, do not say I did not tell you. I set up a technical committee to see to how we disburse monthly allocations coming to the state. The committee has members drawn from labour unions, tertiary institutions among others. We do this to allow for transparency in the system,” he said.

On the poor attitude of some workers, he noted that there was need for a change of attitude, saying workers should get to work on time, since the state government pays their salaries as when due.

“People must be ready to pay rates, taxes and levies, if civil servants are paying taxes others should pay as well. Our IGR must improve,” Fayose stated.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, Bishop Felix Ajakaye, has emphasised the need for a forum to assess the state of education in Ekiti, saying there is urgent need for it to be repositioned and revitalised.

The cleric, who spoke in Ado-Ekiti yesterday when the State Governor, Mr Ayo Fayose, visited him in connection with the proposed Education Summit in the state, said education was the only means to tackle poverty in the society.

Ajakaye said the church would support the effort, but warned against not implementing the recommendations, saying
that we do not lack ideas in our country, but implementation is our bane. I don’t support fire brigade approach to issues.

“Attitude is as important as ability, if we have ability and lack the correct and right attitude, it amounts to nothing. I am impressed with the pace of the administration in responding to issues. Education is for all and thchurch is ready to partner the state government in that sector. Education is the key whether formal or informal,” he said.

Fayose, who acknowledged the great role the church is playing in providing quality education for the people, added that with the economic downturn in the country, people would only deceive themselves by believing that only the government should shoulder the responsibility of providing quality education for the citizenry.

“I appreciate the role the Catholic Church is playing in providing sound education for our people. Since we came on board, we are not relenting too. Despite the paucity of funds, we promptly paid the WAEC fees of our students who sat for the last May/June WASSCE.

“Our state was not among the 19 states that WAEC withheld the results of their students due to indebtedness. We also organised extra classes for our students who sat for this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination.